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Brazilian Police Tighten Security Against Gang Attacks During New Year Celebrations


News reports from Brazil say police and suspected armed gang members have clashed again Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, but city officials are boosting security and moving forward with plans for traditionally massive New Year's eve celebrations.

Early Sunday, gangs fired on police stations, but there were no reports of casualties.

Since Thursday, gunfights and arson attacks by gang members have killed at least 18 people. The attacks started Thursday when gang members set fire to several city buses, burning some passengers alive.

Some 20,000 police are now patrolling streets and mass transit routes throughout the city.

Some two million people are expected to gather on Brazil's famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches for New Year's celebrations.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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